“Absolutely ingenious”: David Gower validates Joe Root using Jack Leach’s scalp to shine the ball in Rawalpindi Test

Dixit Bhargav
|Published December 03, 2022

The first session of the third day of the first Test of the ongoing England’s tour of Pakistan in Rawalpindi didn’t comprise of anything startling different from the first two days. With the flatness of the surface at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium remaining intact, Pakistan were able to score 117 runs in 32 overs before the lunch break.

England, however, picked three wickets in the second half of the morning session after not being able to pick one for 65 overs. Debutant batter Will Jacks’ part-time spin proved beneficial for the visitors as Pakistan opening batter Abdullah Shafique (114) edged a ball to England wicket-keeper Ollie Pope in an attempt to cut a short ball.

An equal contributor in a 225-run opening stand, Imam-ul-Haq (121), soon followed his partner back to the pavilion as his ploy to attack England spinner Jack Leach witnessed him in handing a simple catch to Ollie Robinson at long-on.

Former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali (27) became the third Pakistani batter to get out right before the lunch break as he was pinned in front of the stumps by Leach.

David Gower validates Joe Root using Jack Leach’s scalp to shine the ball in Rawalpindi Test

In what was yet another session where nothing much happened in terms of battle between the bat and ball, former England captain Joe Root registered a hilarious moment via one of his innovative ways to shine a ball.

With the usage of saliva banned permanently in cricket now, Root took the matter to Leach’s scalp in a bid to shine one side of the ball. Root especially removed Leach’s cap to do the same before a Robinson over to become a source of jocularity for the commentators.

“It’s absolutely ingenious because you are no longer allowed to use saliva. Tests have apparently proved that sweat is much more effective in shining a ball than saliva,” former England captain David Gower said amusingly while calling the match alongside another former England captain Nasser Hussain and former Pakistan all-rounder Urooj Mumtaz.

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For the unversed, usage of saliva was banned in cricket for the first time during the COVID-19 era. Although the world has moved on from the pandemic, saliva ban was made permanent in September this year.

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About the author

Dixit Bhargav

Dixit Bhargav

Born and brought up in Pathankot, Dixit Bhargav is an engineering and sports management graduate who is currently into his fifth year as a Cricket Editor at The SportsRush. His first cricketing memory dates back to 2002 when former India captain Sourav Ganguly had waved his jersey at the historic Lord’s balcony. What followed for an 8-year-old was an instant adulation for both Ganguly and the sport. The optimist in him is waiting for the day when Punjab Kings will win their maiden Indian Premier League title. When not watching cricket, he is mostly found in a cinema hall watching a Punjabi movie.

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